A Belfast solicitor who defended Sean Hoey, the man suspected of carrying out the Omagh bombing, is to assist the parents of missing child Madeline McCann in their legal defence.

It is understood that lawyers for Gerry and Kate McCann, who have been named as formal suspects in the case by Portuguese police, have approached solicitor Peter Corrigan to discuss issues relating to DNA evidence.

It follows allegations that the four-year-old's DNA was found in the boot of their hired car weeks after Madeline disappeared.

37-year-old Sean Hoey from Jonesborough, Co Armagh, is the only person to be charged in connection with the bombing that killed 29 people in 1998.

Madeleine McCann vanished from her family's hotel room at a resort at Praia da Luz on 3 May while her parents dined at a nearby restaurant.